Tag depression

18 posts

COVID Log 4

One day soon I will have the bandwidth to sit down and write out the things that are stirring me lately, but in the meantime here’s the cliffnotes of the last since April, I guess.

The neighborhood group I’ve been organizing with since Shelter in Place started, Alice Street Mutual Aid, had a really successful food drive a couple weeks ago! 

I spent about two weeks organizing it with my neighbors. Everyone who participated was really touched and grateful both to have something concrete to do and also to have an immediate need met. I got to meet some of the folks I’ve been working with on slack and seeing on my screen for weeks in person (safely, masked, 6′ away), and it was so lovely.

If this is something you have the capacity or desire to do and want to talk about how to make happen I’m always down to talk shop, just leave a comment/send a message/DM me on twitter.


I stepped down from CRHE (and wrote about it, of course) to give myself room to grow. I’ve been focusing lately on my work on the ground, working with my Tenant’s Union, ASMA, East Bay for Everyone, and doing mutual aid work wherever I can.


My partner and I made history (on 6/9) by becoming one of the first nonbinary trans couples to get a Registered Domestic Partnership in CA. Up until Jan 1 of this year, in order to get a Domestic Partnership in CA you had to be same-sex. Sen. Scott Wiener (the same senator who authored the law that allowed me to change my gender marker to X on my license in Jan 2019) authored the bill to change the law so it’s not a question even asked anymore, which meeeeeeeeeans

We have all the rights of a married couple recognized by the State of California in areas such as: healthcare (and taxes and etc). A Registered Domestic Partnership is different than a marriage (legally) in that it is easier to undo and not federally recognized, so we’ll cross that tax bridge with an accountant when we get there.

On my ever growing list of topics to write about is how an RDP is different from being married for me, and how it’s healing and also an example of how our social structure is fucked up but the meaningful part of this is:

Neither of us have to worry about our families of origin having any say over our healthcare if bad things happen, AND more importantly that also means *drumroll*

I have access to Kaiser’s trans clinic. 

These last several months have been legit nightmare mode for HRT + my general health. I feel terrible and am so tired, but I found a doctor at Kaiser who seems like a good fit and Kaiser just blanket covers the kinds of HRT I have been fighting so hard to get for the last 2+ years. I’m overwhelmed and relieved.


As Shelter In Place continues I feel so listless. I miss going places, I miss making plans and then doing the plans. I miss being around people. I miss hugging my friends. I’m grieving because given how poorly “reopening” has gone I don’t know if I’ll be able to see friends outside of my immediate vicinity or even leave my city before next March.

Along with the existential dread, my depression is making a comeback which I think is related to the fact that I stopped taking bupropion to start Straterra in February. Straterra has been super helpful in enabling me to actually get anything done during these plague times, but trazodone is not strong enough for the depression and CPTSD flares that come with being a responsible human bean in the middle of a pandemic.

A lot in my life is looking up right now, despite the plague, but it feels so distant. All the things I usually do to help feel pointless and hollow; which is a sign to me that I’ve kept depression at bay on my own for as long as I can and it’s time to get help for it. Thankfully tomorrow is my first appt with the new Kaiser doctor so hopefully we can figure something out.

COVID Log 3

Things haven’t gotten any easier in the last month. Every week feels like at least a decade, and I’ve been dealing with blow after blow, just trying to roll with the punches.

But I am exhausted. I tried to take a Quarancation last week but it didn’t work out as well as I’d hoped. A young, queer, badass organizer acquaintance of mine got caught in some gunfire in SF and didn’t survive, social media was particularly toxic, and I had two interviews (no luck). It’s been rough inside my brain lately.

I feel lost and at loss.

It’s hard to fight existential dread with hope when hope is hard to come by; and I keep failing in my attempts to reach some kind of financial stability. It feels easier to give up. To resign myself to the exhausting freelance hustle that I’ve been doing for the last 4 years instead of continually trying without success to get hired in a traditional job with hours and benefits and a fair wage. But I don’t want to continue this dance with the abyss. I want pay and benefits and reliable hours. I want to be able to provide for myself and my family, it devastates me that I can’t seem to hack it.

I feel like it’s a failing on my part that to even get to the point of an interview I have to work through decades of trauma and lies my parents told me about work and relationships and whether or not I am worth being paid for my time and energy.

When I interview and get rejected, even nicely, it feels like they were right:
Maybe I am worthless and undeserving and unskilled
Maybe I don’t deserve stability or self-sufficiency
Maybe my lot in life is to suffer at the base of the hierarchy of needs for ever, because that’s all I was ever equipped to do – that’s what years of not being allowed to accept pay for labor, belittlement for external success & competence, and suffering the consequences of bad financial decisions at the hands of my parents has conditioned me for.

But I don’t want that to be true; I just don’t know how to make it untrue.

In these plague times, I and my partner(s) are high risk, so it’s not safe for me to get a job at a grocery store or coffee shop where I’d be interacting with the public at-large who somehow don’t seem to understand that the mask has to cover both nose AND mouth to be effective.

I’m just exhausted and sick with anxiety even though today, I’m financially okay. There’s no guarantee that will be true in a month or two. I’ve applied to work the census and be a contact tracer, and have heard nothing on either front. I know the answer is to continually apply and interview and send resumes to everything I see because maybe there’s a chance, but I am out of hope that a chance like that exists for me right now.

I know that depression is a lying liar who lies and I am competent and good at so many things from websites to grassroots movement building, I’m hard working and driven and self motivated, and yet. Everyone is happy to benefit from my labor and zeal but I can’t get hired to use or grow these skills and stay afloat.

I keep organizing because that’s how I move. It doesn’t pay but it’s something to do that can eventually improve the quality of life for myself and others. I keep doing the hustle because I need to survive. I somehow make an impact and impress people with my ability to get things done, but can’t consistently put bread on my table without help and after a while, that just gets to me.

It’s a trigger because it makes me feel like that the work I do is appreciated, but I am somehow not worth the monetary investment in sustaining myself or developing my skills. I know this is a lie because my patreon exists and I am eternally grateful for everyone who is able to continue supporting me there, as that has been the most reliable stream of income I’ve had since moving to the Bay and I wouldn’t be able to even survive without it (so thank you).

But sometimes life just hurts and lies feel like truth, and I’m feeling that a lot right now.

{I matter}

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I don’t have to be productive 24/7. All that matters is that I take care of myself – everything else will follow. I matter.
Because my body is remembering it has a uterus for the first time in almost 6 months and even though it’s still worlds better than it was untreated, it still…..fucks me up a lot. I feel like it makes me lesser, but I know that’s bullshit…
I’m scared that my period problems are going to rule out any opportunities I ever have, but I know that isn’t true, also. I hope.

On Death (and life)

Cynthia touched on it in the first part of her post “Freeing Self-Deceived Fundamentalists“. My family has glorified death for a really long time. I remember Columbine, like she was talking about – being something almost revered – not remotely tragic. When things were shitty(-er than normal) or if I was making a life choice my mom didn’t agree with she would say “well the end times are coming and we’ll be raptured soon [so we won’t have deal with XYZ]”. Going to heaven was all my parents really cared about, they instilled a sense of life being almost useless into me, unintentionally.
Why bother living here when life will be so much better after you die?
When parents neglect or kill their children because they think god told them to or that they’re saving them.
When parents talk about how brave Abraham was for almost murdering Isaac.
When I remember that my parents coped with my two still-born siblings by talking about how lucky they were that they got to be in heaven while we had to suffer on earth…
I used to be afraid, or worried sometimes……..that something like that would happen. That “god” would tell my parents to murder us, and they would. Or that I would be murdered (martyred) because I was a (true) christian in America, and I WOULD look down that gun barrel at columbine and say “Jesus will save me” or “Get behind me satan” or whatever clever bible phrase I could come up with before my imminent death.
And my parents wouldn’t mourn – they’d talk about how much better off I was dead than alive, how everyone needs to be a christian so they can wait out their miserable existence and go to paradise.
It’s really depressing thinking about it. But it explains a lot about why, I guess, I’ve rarely been afraid of dying and have always just been kinda nonchalant about it.
It’s not a good thing, because it adds intensity to depression: why bother living, anyway? Now that I don’t believe in god and don’t believe that suicide would nullify my non-existent salvation.
But when I was a child…
The emphasis my parents put on dying and going to heaven always bothered me.
It was like they were SO READY for our lives to be over.
They didn’t want to live.
They communicated that living was a waste of time. After all, we’re citizens of heaven, not earth, so why care about the world?
And that always fucked with me because I wanted to live, and I felt guilty for wanting to live, fully, and make the most of my time and help people while I was here, and even, (gaspenjoy my life here. Because some part of me understood that being here mattered, even though I didn’t – and sometimes still don’t – know why.
I was so hurt when my mom would rather I die/be raptured than marry my spouse. She said, hopefully, that Jesus would probably come back before I even had that chance.
I can’t explain to you with words how much that messes with a person. When your parents whole life revolves around the end of their, yours, and everyone else’s life………when rapture is the answer to things that you don’t like…and pretend like everyone who wants to live and love now is silly because obviously they should just be working on getting into heaven.
Everything my parents do is motivated by being the best christians so they get all the heavenly kudos.
I think my parents were really really depressed.
And I think that messed with me in a lot of ways, too.

KieryClam

If I’ve learned anything over the last week it’s that as nice as hiding from everything sounds it’s not necessarily helpful, or useful, and it doesn’t stop me from internalizing all of the things.
Sometimes problems get so overwhelming and I think avoiding them will help and it seems like a great idea, but what happens is I just end up having a mental breakdown and needing someone to help pry me open so I can talk about things and actually process them instead of just letting them build and pretending it’s not happening.
So Wednesday night I crashed and I was like I don’t know, I don’t know what’s wrong or why, or how to fix it, and Alex has spent the better part of our relationship learning how to interpret and pry open the Kiery, because sometimes I don’t know even how to start expressing myself (thanks childhood of completely shutting down), so that I can deal with life again.
I think I need to be asked (multiple times) because I need to know it’s safe to talk and that it’s safe to be honest about how I’m doing and that sticking to pleasantries (and convincing others of their true-ness) isn’t necessary. So that way I’m sure that if I’m honest about how I’m feeling I won’t be adding (too much?) weight to the person who’s asking.
For me, a lot of times I know things are bothering me but I don’t know what; it’s a vast overwhelming void of everything and nothing and I couldn’t describe anything if you just asked me. So a lot of my process involves pulling on threads and seeing which one unravels the skein. It still ends up being a lot of everything and nothing but at least it’s identifiable, at least then I can work through it and feel like my head’s above water for a little bit.
I’m doing better today, and I was doing better yesterday – sometimes I just need help because I can’t traverse my brain all by myself, which sounds stupid, but there you go. I can’t articulate so I shut down and internalize and I do it so much that I can’t escape without aid. But now I know (again), I guess, so all of the things that bother me still bother me but I need to process them instead of shutting down and absorbing.
Over the last couple days that I’ve been feeling okay:
I’ve been working out and started a new tumblr with mara, upped my step goal to 5k steps a day instead of 2k
I drew Humorotica this week! And I didn’t hate my drawing, and I doodled today and also didn’t hate that either.
My hiking shoes and combat boots came in and are awesome
I discovered leggings.
I had a thought about KieryGeek that wasn’t just guilt for the first time since July.
I have a lot of disjointed thoughts and feelings on gamergate and when I’m honest, I kinda reallllly hoped it would just go away already but it’s not and I feel like I need to talk about it and draw a comic about it, and maybe even make a vlog about it.
The huge thing is, I can think again, and I feel okay again, and I have about as much of a clue about why I suddenly feel better as I did about why I felt bad (which is to say, I don’t know), but I think acknowledging that my avoid-everything strategy lead to absorb-all-the-sads-and-keep-them-there helped. Realizing that things do affect me even if they don’t affect me directly is kinda crucial, and you’d think I’d figure that out, but at some point I just lose myself and I’m like NO I MUST FEEL ALL OF THESE, AND YOUR FEELS, AND YOUR FEELS, AND THEY ARE MINE NOW, GO ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS, and it’s not something I need to be doing (but it’s almost impossible to not do because empath), and especially not something that’s healthy for me to hold on to without processing – because it piles and it piles fast and triggers become more intense and…anyway, I lost my point.
I guess I’m just trying to say, I feel better after Alex talked to me and tried to help me make sense of things and then all of the things had names again and now I’m not drowning in an ocean of depression today, and that makes me happy.
 

Cryptic nuggets

I should do so many things.
I should write more about sexism and gaming.
I should make that ruby app I’ve been planning.
I should reboot KieryGeek.
I should be better at marketing my patreons.
I should be brave and find my voice and use it.
I should be more friendly.
I should not feel bad about not doing all of those things in lieu of taking care of myself.
I should not feel bad for being anxious and tired and overwhelmed.
I should not feel bad for feeling lost.
I should not feel useless or worthless because reasons.
 

Reason

I’ve been triggering myself a little lately, getting introspective about life and the meaning. Nothing weird I guess, but in my dreams I found myself missing things I don’t actually miss, missing rituals and set answers – things I consciously don’t actually value.
I’m not particularly sentimental, and I don’t really care about tradition for tradition’s sake – in fact, I’ve found more freedom and healing in abandoning tradition as much as possible lately.
So, anyway, when I’ve been finding myself in these introspective loops – at least after outing myself as an agnostic, none of the pat answers that I used to have are there anymore (for good reason), but it’s like I’ve taken another step into the unknown and I don’t know why I exist again, or why I make things, or why I feel the way I do, I just know that I do, and the bit of fundamentalism that’s still clacking around in my brain jumps on it.
They were right all along, it says. You need religion to matter, it tells me. All these things I know are false – at least, for me – because religion (christianity specifically) is an unsafe place for me, and is the place I can trace back to when I want to find out why I feel worthless to start with.
I know it’s wrong, because I never found the answers I needed in religion – the pat answers and just don’t think about it too much cliches aren’t useful to me. So it’s weird when I suddenly find myself feeling depressed and reaching for those non-existent platitudes.
And it’s taken me all of this week to figure out what I’ve known all along.
I don’t need to have a reason for everything all the time. Unknowns are perfectly okay and legitimate. I don’t live in an environment anymore where I need to have an answer for everything.
And that’s gloriously freeing.

Feels

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I feel like the world is falling apart at the seams and going to shit and I’m powerless to do anything about it.
Between police brutality in Ferguson, shit going down in Gaza and Iraq, Robin Williams committing suicide…
It’s all just too many.
It’s too much.
It’s getting to me.
 
I watched the news for the first time in ages on Saturday because it was on at the car place while we were getting our mini inspected.
I was alone for 5 minutes and almost started crying.
It’s too many.
 
I sometimes forget how deeply things can hurt. I can sometimes turn my empathic nature off just enough to get by without feeling everything from everyone.
And sometimes, like the last couple days, I can’t.
Twitter and Facebook and news articles and snippets of conversation…like thousands of needles
and all I can think about is making blanket forts and escaping it all, because the difference between other people’s feelings and my own get blurred and I feel everything.
I can’t sleep well, and wake up stressed out and sad and depressed.
And yet, all I want to do is sleep – sleep and wake up and this will all have been a dream.
Needless violence and systemic racism, and genocide, and suicide, all just figments of my imagination – horrific nightmares.
But no.
It’s reality.
And sleeping won’t make it go away.
And I’m just one person – one person who can barely keep henself together.
But I care, and being powerless and lost inside myself makes me feel weak and useless.
I’m one person, what can I do?
I don’t know.
But I’ll keep trying. I’ll do what I can.
I’ll keep fighting the voices in my head that say you’re worthless, pointless, and don’t matter, and try to latch on to the one that says but you do matter, and you’re not pointless.
And I don’t know if that will matter in the end, but it does right now.
When the world is falling apart and I’m a speck of stardust in one small galaxy…
But I’m alive. And you’re alive. and that matters. And maybe we can make things better together, for the ones who are still alive.
I don’t know, maybe.
And I’m so sorry.
 

New Meds Muse: Zoloft

I’ve been taking the full-dose of Zoloft (currently 50mg a day) for about a week now. I was going strong until I got stressed out on Friday, and then everything just kinda has been a haze of anxiety. I was super focused and creative and fucking fantastic for a week…excusing the bouts of nausea/dizziness and general there’s-a-new-chemical-in-my-body-side-effects that lasted a few days (and then went away, and then came back randomly but only for an afternoon or so off and on, I’m only in week like, 2.5 of new meds, so). Sometime over the weekend it’s like I forgot how to focus and I’ve been really tense.
A couple circumstantial things don’t help: our shower drain has been clogged since the weekend and the plumber was supposed to come today but didn’t, and the subsequent sink drains have decided to join in on the clogging fun, so I have a bunch of unwashed/gross/dirty dishes from a failed attempt to wash them just sitting on the counter, I haven’t showered since the weekend (because pooling just feels bad when you can’t clean the tub, and feeling grosser after showering than before is sorta pointless), and the bathroom sink is all slow now, so doing anything for longer than 30 seconds is basically out.
On the upside, I’ll be at a wedding this weekend and the hotel will have a working shower, and my pit hairs are kinda cute right now.
I’ve spent a lot of this week trying to still work on things – I ended up managing to get a lot done – this week’s comic, for instance, I finished already and I think it’s awesome, but KieryGeek is gonna wait because I just couldn’t, at that point, the anxiety had pretty much taken over. I’ve been working on my Ruby site pretty regularly, though I feel like the going is pretty slow. Some of that though, is just how learning a new language is and has less to do with my meds.
It’s so weird though, because I can tell that the meds are doing something, I know there’s an edge of anxiety that’s missing, because there’s a tiny tiny calm space even though I feel like, today, I’m on the verge of a meltdown.
My current plan is to ask to up the dose when I go back in July. I know they’re doing things but I feel like I did before I needed to up the dose on my anti-depressants – work great as long as there’s no stressors or anything, but as soon as something is there, it’s like, just doesn’t have enough umph. And some of that might just be because I’m only 2.5 weeks into the new medication, but if one lunch & some plumbing issues can throw me for a loop, I’m thinking…yeah with the upping being a good idea.
And if that doesn’t work, I guess we’ll try something else.
It was so nice to be creative and focused again though, even if it was only for a few days. I want that back.